Monday, January 24, 2011

Genuine Friendships Within the Storm of Grief

"In a culture that does not like to acknowledge loss or talk about the impact, it's difficult to grieve. And when we add this silence to the fact that most of us have never been taught about the process and normalcy of grief, no wonder we struggle."~~ H. Norman Wright

As the days slowly pass since Momma died, I am seeing the blessing of strong relationships and true friendship. God has placed people in my life who are truly safe places. Even though my Daddy is hurting tremendously, he continues to encourage me that mourning, which is an outward expression of grief, is very normal. He is a very safe person in my life and I admire his strength in the midst of His own anguish. In addition, I feel such an overwhelming sense of gratitude of the amazing friends God has placed around me in this difficult and trying season of my life. I never want to let them go.

Yesterday,Daddy sent photos of Momma's gravestone. When I awoke I turned on my computer to check my email.The photo above is what I saw. I stared at it for the longest moment. My mother, who was so vibrant and full of life...and here is a granite stone with her beautiful name engraved upon it. It just seemed completely unreal all over again. And the thrashing waves of grief threatened to overtake me as the tears flowed through out the day. However, they were much needed as I have withheld a seemingly internal waterfall for the "sake of the children." But I know this is needed. I know this is good. And I know it is normal.

My heart is swollen with immense gratitude for the precious people in my life who have allowed me to express my pain. These precious souls have not tried to heal me, nor have they attempted to advise me on how to heal. These few friends have simply entered into my wound, sat with me as I have bled, and told me they are there. How simply powerful is this? How loving and gracious?

I have been reading a book written by a mother of an autistic child entitled, "Let Me Hear Your Voice", by Catherine Maurice. She expresses her need for just simple understanding after the loss of a stillborn baby as well as processing the news of her young daughter's diagnoses of autism. This is what she says.

"None of us, especially myself, wants to jump into another's pain. If we can't fix something in our friend's life, we feel helpless. If we can't make it go away, we want to pretend it is not there. We don't know what to say. We are at a loss for words.Our lives have their own aches and sorrows. If we see poverty, we try at least to help by giving some money away,even though we know our money does not go very far. But if we see heartbreak, most of us are less effective; we try to talk the person out of it. Often we have to learn that there is no solution for suffering. Everyone has some of it sooner or later. What helps is to have one or two people around who keep trying to understand, who are just willing to just hold our hand as we walk on through it."

As I pondered these words, I realized that God has blessed me with very strong people who have truly partaken of my pain. They have not tried to "fix" things, they just sat with me, loved me, and comforted me. I just want to express my appreciation because you all have been a true example of Christ in my life. God simply wants to enter into our pain, for He genuinely experiences it and deeply feels it. He never minimizes our trials because our sufferings are as personal to Him as they are to us. When my child is hurt, I hurt too if not more. I am reminded of the passionate and intimate love of our Father who longs to enter into our hardships and embrace us right in the middle of that messy place. Grief is not tidy. Grief cannot easily be defined. But it is an appointed part of life that every soul shall experience. No two shall experience it the same. But we all shall feel it's sting. So in the midst of mourning, God will envelope us in His love, in His understanding, and knit the body of Christ into the beautiful masterpiece He has called us to be.

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:15 The Message

Love to you all, my precious and loving friends,



Pam... said...

Excellent thoughts. I have not experienced this loss. I hope I can find God's grace to be enough.

. said...

Hi Ange. It has been a while and I have been meaning to stop by and visit. Unfortunately life has a way of taking us for a ride sometimes, such has been with me this winter. Today I stopped by to visit a friend and discovered your pain and sorrow and it has saddened me. I am sorry for what has happened. As silly as this may sound, it would be 'you' above all who I know, who will be able to rise above the sorrow loss and pain. This may be of little comfort, but to me you have been a pillar of incredible strength and faith. your posts have been so beautiful and have touched my heart. I hope to chat with you soon, as I miss your words, the way your thoughts flow and the strength through inspiration you always seem to give to us all. Take care my friend. I am always here!